Aston Villa boss to step down this summer

Aston Villa confirmed on Friday that Carla Ward has decided to step down from her role as women’s first team manager at the end of the season.

Ward joined the club three years ago, and guided the team to their best-ever league finish last season by finishing fifth in the Barclays Women’s Super League.

It hasn’t been quite as smooth sailing this season though, and while Aston Villa reached the semifinal of the Conti Cup, the club sit in 7th place with two league games remaining.

Speaking to the club, Ward said: ‘To step down from my post here at Aston Villa has been the hardest decision of my managerial career, but I know it is the right one for my family and I.’

‘Managing a great club like Aston Villa has been a full-throttle job and I have always given the role 100 per cent dedication. However, I now believe it is the right time for me to prioritise the other important things – such as my daughter and the rest of my family life.’

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‘I am immensely grateful to Monchi and Damian Vidagany who tried so hard to encourage me to stay in the role, but I know it is the right time to step down after our last game of the season.’

The club assured fans that they had tried to persuade her to stay, but Ward’s decision appeared to be final.

Monchi, the club’s President of Football Operations, explained that ‘Carla came to us a few weeks ago and spoke of her plan to step down. We have had extensive dialogue with her to see if there was anything we could do to persuade her to stay, but she is adamant that she wants to take a break from the game.’

‘Therefore, on behalf of everybody at Aston Villa, I want to place on record our grateful thanks to Carla for everything she has achieved with us and wish her well for the future.’